Herbs, from slender, knotty rhizomes with fibrous roots, generally pubescent throughout. Stems branched distally, with 2-5 papery bracts sheathing proximally. Leaves sessile or subsessile; blade broadly ovate to oblanceolate, veinlets forming loose reticulum. Inflorescences strictly terminal. Flowers 1-4(-7) in a cluster, nodding, pedicellate; tepals deciduous, distinct, weakly gibbous proximally; stamens hypogynous, basally adnate to tepals; filaments filiform to basally dilated; anthers linear-oblong, extrorse; ovary superior, sessile, 3-locular, narrowly ellipsoid to obovoid, ovules 2-6 per locule, pendulous or horizontal; style included or exserted, filiform; stigma not lobed or weakly 3-lobed; pedicel slender. Fruits baccate, straw-colored to red, ± fleshy. Seeds light yellow to orangish brown, ellipsoid to oblong, smooth. x = 6, 8, 9, 11. The American species have long been treated as section Prosartes of the otherwise Asian genus Disporum (H. Hara 1988; Q. Jones 1951). However, cytological, morphological, and molecular evidence indicates a degree of difference that justifies generic status for this group (M. N. Tamura et al. 1992; Z. K. Shinwari et al. 1994; T. Fukuhara and Z. K. Shinwari 1994). Within Prosartes there are two disjunct, east-west pairs: P. lanuginosa and P. hookeri, and P. trachycarpa and P. maculata (F. H. Utech et al. 1995; C. E. Wood Jr. 1970).